PBS awarded €4M in EU funds for archives digitisation project

The news that PBS would be embarking on the second phase of a project involving the digitisation of 24,000+ hours of footage in its archives was officially announced on 22nd May 2019. This phase saw the launch of Malta Audio Visual Memories (MAVM), which aims to preserve audiovisual content as part of Malta’s intangible national and cultural heritage and to offer future generations and tourists a digital platform to explore this legacy.

The second phase of the project, titled Enhancing the Cultural Tourism Experience through Digitisation, is being financed through a €4 million investment from European Union funds and a further allocation of €800,000 from national funds, including contributions by PBS. The EU funds were obtained through the European Regional Development Fund, under Priority Axis 5: “Protecting our environment—investing in natural and cultural assets”.

The implementation of the project was split into several phases. The first phase involved the upgrading of the basement level of the PBS Creativity Hub, which houses the archives, and the installation of editing suites and equipment for the digitisation process. 

Phase two of the project is currently underway, and the results of the digitisation process are already being shared with the public through MAVM’s official website and its social media channels. The team regularly uploads clips from the archives which show historical events, locations, people, and Maltese customs and traditions.

In early 2021, the project is expected to advance to the next stage of operations, which involves the installation of totem poles and plaques at important sites around Malta and Gozo. These markers will feature QR codes that enable visitors to access related clips on their smart devices.